Dynamic and personalised approach to engage foreign students
IIT Kharagpur has been scaling up its international relations activities since 2015, setting up processes and systems and entering into new collaborations.
The institute has also been engaging in various strategic partnerships in harmony with India’s global alliances and outreach goals. IIT Kharagpur director V.K. Tewari; associate dean of international relations, Anandaroop Bhattacharya; and executives from the Office of International Relations recently participated in three strategic events to augment international relations activities.
India has a long-standing relationship with ASEAN, which has received considerable impetus in the past few years, especially in enhancing cooperation in the field of science and technology.
Doctoral-fellowship in India for ASEAN (DIA), an initiative sponsored by the education ministry and supported by the external affairs ministry, organised an online summit, IIT-ASEAN Research Cooperation, to enable discussions on research and innovation opportunities in IITs and ASEAN by reputable scientists and academics.
A diverse range of academic disciplines at IIT Kharagpur was showcased in addition to the usual engineering disciplines. Graduate and doctoral scholars from ASEAN may pursue their studies in areas such as architecture (ranked first in NIRF), mining (among world’s top 50 in QS subject rank), naval architecture, law (ranked among top 5 in NIRF), agriculture (ranked by QS as India’s best) space technology (have active collaborations with ISRO) and the newly launched Indian Knowledge Systems, the first of its kind in the IIT system where scholarly knowledge from Indian traditions will be explored in the light of modern scientific principles. It is imperative that IITs reach out to the ASEAN nations assertively and put forward the niche areas which are of common interest to both countries.
Another strategic partnership IIT Kharagpur is pursuing is withe BRICS Network University
The Institute emphasized adding national mission projects to the current thrust areas of computer science and cyber security such as precision agriculture, ecology and environment, mining, water resources and architecture.
IIT Kharagpur also participated in a review meeting held under the Study in India (SII) initiative by EDCIL to deliberate on how to make India a preferred destination for higher education. The focus was on how to increase the inflow of foreign students in comparison to outbound Indian students. The discussions included initiatives such as designing a common portal for all foreign applications, focus on building more short-term courses, exchange programmes, transfer of credits, joint doctoral programmes, the introduction of bridge courses; supernumerary quota seats other than AICTE, orientation programmes for foreign students as well as the engagement of faculty experts to attract foreign students in India.
Deliberations were also made on setting up international offices at each of the participating institutes to assist foreign students, creating an alumni network for foreign students and revisiting regulations for foreign interns. Considerable upgrade is required in the facilitation of foreign students, including accommodation with special facilities. It has been felt that offering courses customised to suit foreign students would strengthen India’s position as an international destination for higher education.
The authors are executives at the Office of International Relations, IIT Kharagpur.
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